2Pacalypse Now is the debut solo studio album by American rapper 2Pac. It was released on November 12, 1991 through TNT Recordings and Interscope Records.[1] Recording sessions took place at Starlight Sound Studio in Richmond, California. Production was handled by members of Digital Underground production team The Underground Railroad, namely Big D the Impossible, Shock G, Pee-Wee, DJ Jay-Z, Raw Fusion and Live Squad. It features contributions from Stretch, Angelique, Dave Hollister, Pogo, Poppi, Ray Luv and Shock G among others. The album's title is a reference to the 1979 war film Apocalypse Now.

2Pacalypse Now
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 12, 1991 (1991-11-12)
StudioStarlight Sound (Richmond, CA)
GenrePolitical hip hop
2Pac chronology
2Pacalypse Now
Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z...
Singles from 2Pacalypse Now
  1. "Trapped"
    Released: September 25, 1991
  2. "Brenda's Got a Baby"
    Released: October 20, 1991
  3. "If My Homie Calls"
    Released: February 25, 1992

In the United States, the album reached number 64 on the US Billboard 200, number 13 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and number 3 on both the Heatseekers Albums and Catalog Albums charts. On April 19, 1995, it was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling 500,000 copies. In commemoration of its twenty-fifth anniversary, it was re-released on vinyl and cassette on November 11, 2016,[2] which peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Vinyl Albums chart.

The album produced three singles with accompanying music videos: "Trapped", "Brenda's Got a Baby" and "If My Homie Calls". The second single off of the album, "Brenda's Got a Baby", made it to No. 23 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, number 3 on the Hot Rap Songs and number 55 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles Sales. The song "I Don't Give a Fuck" from the album was included in 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in-game radio station Radio Los Santos.

Content edit

2Pacalypse Now is a socially conscious hip hop album. It serves as the artist's commentary on contemporary social issues facing American society, such as racism, police brutality, poverty, gang violence. teenage pregnancy and drug abuse. The album poetically addresses black urban concerns relevant to the present day. Although a relatively tame album compared to Shakur's later works, 2Pacalypse Now was known for its violent lyrics aimed at police officers and the government in the songs "Trapped", "I Don't Give a Fuck" and "Soulja's Story".[3][4]

Controversy edit

The album generated significant controversy stemming from then-U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle's public criticism after Ronald Ray Howard murdered a Texas Highway Patrol trooper and his defense attorney claimed he was influenced by 2Pacalypse Now and its strong theme of police brutality. Quayle made the statement, "There's no reason for a record like this to be published. It has no place in our society".[5]

Critical reception edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [6]
The New Rolling Stone Album Guide     [9]
Tom Hull – on the WebB+( )[10]

2Pacalypse Now received generally positive reviews from critics. Although the album's political messages, lyrics and his storytelling were praised, Tupac Shakur's debut album was criticized for its production. In a retrospective review, RapReviews gave the album 4 stars out of 5 and said: "It's not an extraordinarily long album, but it is a dense and heavy listen that will take a lot out of you if you pay close attention to the persistent theme. The beats overall fail to make much of an impression, but perhaps that is as it should be, since nothing should be allowed to outshine this kind of lyrical performance. Tupac's vitriol is carried by his sincerity and charisma, both of which would emerge as key traits of the figure that blossomed in the years to come. Over the course of Tupac's career, the political got suffused by the personal and receded from the central position it occupied on his debut".

Commercial performance edit

Upon its release, 2Pacalypse Now debuted at number 197 on the Billboard 200, number 77 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and number 31 on the Heatseekers Albums charts in the United States. The album peaked at No. 64, No. 13 and No. 3 on the respective charts in the first third of 1992. The Recording Industry Association of America certified the album gold on April 19, 1995 for passing the sales mark of half a million copies.

After 2Pac's death in 1996, the album made it to the US Catalog Albums, peaking at number 3. It also made its charting debut on the UK Hip Hop and R&B Albums Chart, reaching number 35.

According to ChartMasters data as of March 2024, the album has sold 2,229,000 equivalent album sales figures worldwide.[11]

Track listing edit

1."Young Black Male"Big D the Impossible2:35
3."Soulja's Story"
Big D the Impossible5:05
4."I Don't Give a Fuck"
  • Shakur
  • Gooden
5."Violent"Raw Fusion6:25
6."Words of Wisdom"Shock G4:54
7."Something Wicked"
  • Shakur
  • Jeremy Jackson
8."Crooked Ass Nigga" (featuring Stretch)Live Squad4:17
9."If My Homie Calls"
Big D the Impossible4:18
10."Brenda's Got a Baby"
  • Shakur
  • Evans
Big D the Impossible3:53
11."Tha' Lunatic" (featuring Stretch)
  • Shakur
  • Jacobs
  • Clinton Jr.
  • Ron Banks
Shock G3:29
12."Rebel of the Underground"
  • Shakur
  • Evans
Big D the Impossible3:17
13."Part Time Mutha" (featuring Poppi)
Big D the Impossible5:13
Total length:55:07

Personnel edit

  • Tupac "2Pac" Shakur – lyrics, vocals, co-producer
  • Gregory "Shock G" Jacobs – background vocals (tracks: 2, 12), keyboards (track 8), producer
  • Playa-Playa – outro vocals (track 2)
  • Dank – outro vocals (track 2)
  • Wiz – outro vocals (track 2)
  • Mickey Cooley – telephone voice (track 4)
  • Rodney Cooley – telephone voice (track 4)
  • Pogo – telephone voice (track 4)
  • Ronald "Money-B" Brooks – background vocals (track 5), producer
  • David "DJ Fuze" Elliot – background vocals (track 5), producer
  • Descaro "Mac Mone" Moore – background vocals (track 5)
  • Ramon "Pee-Wee" Gooden – background vocals (track 7), producer
  • Randy "Stretch" Walker – rap vocals (tracks: 8, 11)
  • Dave Hollister – vocals (track 10)
  • Roniece Levias – vocals (track 10)
  • Raymond "Ray Luv" Tyson – background vocals (track 12)
  • Yonni – background vocals (track 12)
  • Di-Di – background vocals (track 12)
  • Poppi – vocals (track 13)
  • Angelique – background vocals (track 13)
  • Deon "Big D the Impossible" Evans – producer
  • Jeremy "Jay-Z" Jackson – producer
  • Live Squad – producers
  • Darrin Harris – engineering
  • Steve Counter – engineering
  • Marc Senasac – engineering
  • Matt Kelley – engineering
  • Kenneth K. Lee Jr. – mastering
  • Atron Gregory – executive producer
  • Kevin Hosmann – art direction
  • Victor Hall – photography
  • David Provost – photographic prints
  • Tom Whalley – A&R
  • Leslie Gerard-Smith – coordinator

Charts edit

Certifications edit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[19] Gold 923,455[11]

References edit

  1. ^ McAdams, Janine (November 30, 1991). "2Pac Files Claim Against Oakland" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 103, no. 48. New York, NY, USA: BPI Communications, Inc. p. 20. ISSN 0006-2510. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 21, 2021. Retrieved February 16, 2023. Details were revealed at a Nov. 12 press conference..."2Pacalypse Now," was released the same day as his press conference.
  2. ^ Walker, Angus (November 13, 2016). "Tupac's "2Pacalypse Now" Released On Vinyl For The First Time". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved April 2, 2024.
  3. ^ Vaught, Seneca (Spring 2014). "Tupac's Law: Incarceration, T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E., and the Crisis of Black Masculinity". Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men. 2: 93–94. doi:10.2979/spectrum.2.2.87. S2CID 144439620. Archived from the original on March 6, 2017. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  4. ^ Chadwick, Justin (November 8, 2021). "Revisiting 2Pac's Debut Album '2Pacalypse Now' (1991) | Tribute". Albumism. Retrieved April 2, 2024.
  5. ^ Broder, John (September 23, 1992). "Quayle Calls for Pulling Rap Album Tied to Murder Case". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  6. ^ Brown, Marisa. "2Pacalypse Now - 2Pac | Album | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved April 2, 2024.
  7. ^ McCann, Ian (April 1997). "Q Reviews: reissue reviews". Q.
  8. ^ Woods, Emilee (February 24, 2009). "2Pac :: 2Pacalypse Now – RapReviews". www.rapreviews.com. Archived from the original on February 24, 2009. Retrieved April 2, 2024.
  9. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian David, eds. (2004). (The New) Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 830–832. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8 – via Google Books.
  10. ^ Hull, Tom (August 3, 2015). "Grade List: 2Pac". tomhull.com. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  11. ^ a b "2Pac albums and songs sales". ChartMasters. January 24, 2022. Retrieved April 2, 2024.
  12. ^ "2Pac Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved December 23, 2021.
  13. ^ "2Pac Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved December 23, 2021.
  14. ^ "2Pac Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved December 23, 2021.
  15. ^ "2Pac Chart History (Top Catalog Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 2, 2024.
  16. ^ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 2, 2024.
  17. ^ "2Pac Chart History (Vinyl Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 2, 2024.
  18. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 1992". Billboard. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  19. ^ "American album certifications – 2 Pac – 2 Pacalypse". Recording Industry Association of America.

External links edit